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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Google Groups, Killed by Spam?

John Resig lists reasons why Google Groups is losing the battle against spam. Google Groups is dead, John argues saying the primary problem with the service “boils down to a systemic failure to contain and manage spam. Only a bottom-up overhaul of the Google Groups system would be able to fix the problems that every Google Group faces.” Here’s one problem John lists, and I recently experienced this myself (posting the same message multiple times after it failed to show up):

Google Group moderation seems like a palatable idea but in practice is aggravating and crippling. To start, it creates a horrible first-participation experience for your users. For example, let’s say you go to bed at the same time as someone in Tokyo attempts to post a message to the group; you won’t be able to moderate the message through for many hours (and that’s assuming that you moderate messages during your work day). While the experience is much worse than instant posting it is par for the course for most moderation systems.

Of course, this would assume that Google Groups actually informs the users that their message has been held in moderation. Looking through the moderation queue you can see users attempting to submit their message over-and-over again, wondering why it isn’t working. Eventually they’ll just give up in frustration.

Indeed, sometimes posting a question to a Google group feels like talking to an empty room – interestingly, Google itself has given up on Google Groups for many of its product Q&A places, moving to a renewed system.

[Via Reddit.]


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